While many pet parents get their dogs blessed at church on World Animal Day (Oct. 4), more places of worship are opening their doors to dogs beyond this occasion.

The trend is about more than praising puppies: It’s also a novel way for congregations to attract worshipers, just as many companies—including the Hartville Group—allow employees to bring dogs to work to encourage camaraderie and improve morale.

A recent Chicago Tribune article on this subject points out that going to church—or any new place for that matter—and not knowing anyone can be a nerve-wracking experience. But if you can show up with your pet in tow, not only do you feel less alone, but the attention is more on the animal than yourself. That way, a pet’s presence builds a bridge for you to begin a friendly conversation with someone new.

As more companies and groups recognize pets as a significant part of our families, it’ll be interesting to see what parts of our daily lives will also become more pet-friendly.

What are your thoughts?

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